Professor, ThDr. Jaroslav Maxmilián Kašparů
“See, if you take an air rifle, a small bore rifle or another firearm and move one millimetre left or right when you are firing, the shot will land quite far from the target one, two or three hundred metres down the line. What I mean is that a small mistake made at an early stage can prove to be a very serious problem further on. Let me compare November 1989 to the target that was to be pursued; some mistakes were made at the very beginning and now, thirty years later, it shows the target was missed. First and foremost, political criminals should have been punished. Not to take a revenge on them or to ‘settle accounts’ – but simply because the evil was respected instead of being punished, and that will take its toll. Not a life sentence, not a death penalty – just a verdict saying clearly that they were guilty. They are innocent today, nothing applies to them, no court sentenced them and everything is okay. That was one thing. The second thing that should not have happened was letting the communist party continue its activity. It should have been made illegal. We live in a ‘schizophrenic’ land. We condemn political parties and movements that tend to suppress freedoms and pursue violence. We say no to fascism, no to communism – but we tolerate a communist party.”
“Asked about my opinion on Václav Havel, I would say the revolution and the fall of communism would happen even without him. An “isle” of communism simply could not remain in the middle of Europe that beat communism. I regret one thing in connection with Havel. It is his “fan club”. His fan club keeps making such an icon and celebrity out of him to this day that it makes me think that, if Havel were alive, he would be far more modest than what they have made of him. I will not name them. They are certain members of Prague intelligentsia; that is his fan club. He was a writer, a playwright, a politician, a philosopher... everything. Now that they made a philosopher of him – I read “leading world philosopher Václav Havel” somewhere – it makes me ask, who were the real professors of philosophy?”
“My second daughter, Bernadetta, was born in 1984. The actual name was a problem during the communist era. They would not recognize the name here at the vital statistics office in Pelhřimov. We had to give them the names before the actual birth, so we said Bernadetta if she’s a girl and Dominik if he’s a boy. We didn’t want to know the child’s gender before the birth. Well, a girl was born – Bernadetta. The vital statistics officer called me: ‘Come here, we have to discuss this, she cannot have this name.’ So I came there and the officer gave me a brochure to choose a name from. I said, ‘No, I have chosen.’ – ‘The brochure has permitted names so chose one of those.’ – ‘But I have already chosen Bernadetta.’ – ‘No, we won’t allow this, this name doesn’t exist. I don’t know it.’ I said, ‘If everybody used only what people know there wouldn’t be much. I say the name exists.’ She said, ‘You are so stubborn; go to Prague to Ms Knapová (I still remember her name) of the Czech Language Institute. If she permits the name I will register it for you.’ She gave me her address. Ms Knapová approved the name “Bernardetta”, insisting on the middle “r”. I came back here, the vital statistics officer overlooked the middle “r”, and she registered the name the way I wanted.”
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So that things do not become banal
Jaroslav Maxmilián Kašparů was born in Žirovnice on 14 March 1950. Having completed his high school studies, he graduated from the Faculty of General Medicine of Charles University in Prague as a dentist. He worked as a house officer while studying psychiatry at the Comenius University in Bratislava. Since the late 1970s, he has been involved in both institutional and ambulatory practice as well as in pastoral medicine and hypnotherapy. In 1984 he became a member of the secular order of Želiv Premonstratensians and adopted the order name Maxmilián. He was ordained a deacon after 1989 and became a priest of the Greek Catholic rite in 2015. He has been running a private medicinal practice in Pelhřimov since 1997. He is married and has two daughters.